My guess is the majority of Brits have never even seen a firearm in real life, never mind handled one.
Their perceptions come from what the Media feeds them, which is a steady diet of horror stories & inaccurate guff.
A couple of years ago, the BBC produced a "firearms glossary" that was so full of inaccuracies & utter falsehoods that I spent some time correcting it & sent them a copy.
Even then & with the help of a curator from the Royal Armouries museum, they messed things up.
Here's my comments on the initial "glossary" & a link to the modified one: billorites.blogspot.co...ssary.html
We'll never return to a time when having a firearm for self defence is allowed, though when - not if - society falls apart, things will change.
Oddly enough, those who DO have firearms at that time will be in a stronger position than US citizens, because so few of the "bad guys" will be armed.